Parents are demanding answers after larvae-infested fish was allegedly served to students at the Bemposta school in Portimão on Monday (January 22).
Some students are even said to have “felt ill” after the meal, a mother of one of the students told CMTV.
What is enfuriating parents even more is that the school board has yet to provide an explanation to parents, the mother added.
Correio da Manhã says that health authorities have already inspected the school cafeteria, although their findings have not yet been made public.
Meanwhile, the Portimão delegation of opposition party PSD has criticised the municipal council for not taking the matter more seriously.
“If the reported situation is confirmed, it is a cause for alarm for any parent,” PSD Portimão says, calling for more “seriousness and transparency” from the local council.
“In a case where a public health issue may be at stake, leading to the intervention of the local Health Delegate, who was denied access to analyse the sample of the supposedly contaminated fish, PSD Portimão considers the clarifications provided by the municipal executive insufficient,” it adds.
Faced with “the refusal of the municipal executive to take action,” PSD Portimão says it will ask the board of science and education (IGEC) to “open an inquiry to clarify the events in a transparent, responsible, and committed manner to public health and the well-being of the school community.”
“Dish was not reported,” says school group director
The head of the Bemposta school group, Sandra Tenil, has told Lusa news agency that health authority team that visited the school “did not have access to the mentioned dish with the alleged contamination because the student did not report or present the dish.”
The school director explained that the team had access to a sample of the prepared dish and a remaining box with the ultra-frozen fish.
“They had access to everything they asked for, including the sample we take daily, which is mandatory by law and was taken for analysis,” she guaranteed.
According to Sandra Tenil, as soon as the school administration became aware of the case through images circulating on social media on Tuesday, it “decided to initiate the protocol established by law.”
The protocol is carried out in coordination with the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) company, which monitors hygiene, conservation, handling, and cooking procedures for the canteens and bars of the school group and its partners, including the school health team.
Sandra Tenil also clarified that, based on the effective monitoring, “no danger to the health of students, teachers, and staff was observed.”
Updated on Thursday afternoon with the school director’s statement.